10 Best Black Rock Musicians Of All Time

With the roots of Rock and Roll firmly planted in the ground of Blues and Jazz, it is certainly appropriate to recognize the ten best black Rock musicians of all time. Each performer on this list is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  1. Michael Jackson. He started out as the ten year-old lead singer of the Jackson five, and then became the most celebrated performer of his generation earning the nickname “The King of Pop.” The album “Thriller” ranks as one of the greatest ever recorded. 
  2. Jimi Hendrix. The is the man who changed the way electric guitar would forever be played. His unprecedented use of distortion and feedback produced a sound clearly outside the box and made him a hero of every garage band guitarist in America.
  3. Stevie Wonder.  Starting out at Motown Records as “Little Stevie Wonder,” he grew up to amass a collection of some of the most covered songs ever written.
  4. Aretha Franklin. Soulful R & B recording artist Franklin can belt out a song like few singers on the planet, earning her the next spot on our list of the ten best black Rock musicians of all time. With eighteen Grammies, the Queen of Soul is among the most decorated performers in recording history.
  5. Chuck Berry.  Berry is perhaps the first great Rock guitarist. His opening guitar riffs from such classic songs as “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven” are among the most copied of all time.
  6. Prince. The performer formerly and presently known as Prince is one of the most versatile musicians of all time. A terrific guitarist, the singer is also adept on keyboards, woodwinds, and percussion. Mix in filmmaking (“Purple Rain”) and songwriting. 
  7. James Brown. The Godfather of Soul had a voice and dancing style that are often imitated, but never duplicated. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, James Brown brought Rhythm & Blues to the forefront of popular music. 
  8. Marvin Gaye. The man with the perfect voice, and songs like “Let’s Get it On” and “Sexual Healing,” could really make the ladies melt. Ranked number six in “Rolling Stone” magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. 
  9. Smokey Robinson. The lead singer of The Miracles helped popularize Motown with his “Smokey” voice and smooth style. A proficient songwriter, Robinson’s songs have been covered by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, and Elvis Costello.
  10. Diana Ross. The extreme popularity of The Supremes helped bring the sound of Motown to the masses. Between the years 1964 and ‘65, the group produced six number one singles. Ross left in 1970 for a solo career and never looked back delivering a string of hits and establishing herself as one of the greatest black Rock musicians of all time.
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